Over time, companies continued to grow because they caught the interest of various entrepreneurs who acquired them. The process itself can be fairly complex, and someone with no experience can make some mistakes. So, by knowing these mistakes, you can avoid an acquisition disaster.
Here Are The Most Common Mistakes
1. Not Employing Appropriate Legal Counsel
Before signing any papers, you may want to employ the help of an acquisitions attorney first. These lawyers have a lot of experience in terms of mergers and acquisitions, and if a potential purchase may turn out to be problematic, they may know precisely how to handle the situation. They may also give you advice on whether the acquisition is a suitable choice for you or not.
2. Not Knowing Why The Business Is Sold
Many businesspeople buy companies without knowing why they are sold. It may be because the previous business owner has decided to retire, or it may be because a similar more successful business opened across the street. Not knowing this beforehand may cause you to purchase a business that will eventually prove to be a dead end.
3. Not Doing Proper Due Diligence
A business may appear to be successful on the surface, but the truth may be hidden from prying eyes. Even the fact that it still brings profit should not fool you into thinking you don’t need due diligence. By being prepared for anything, you can ensure the acquisition does not bring more problems than it is worth.
Before signing anything, you should know everything about what the business borrowed, owes, leased, and owns. The last thing you want is to get buried in unpaid vendors, endless bills, debt collection, outstanding rent, and a major debt that brings you closer every day to bankruptcy lane.
4. Not Taking The Company Image Into Consideration
Every company creates an image over time, and previous customers may simply use it out of instinct. That being said, many businessmen make acquisitions simply so that they can make major changes – including to the parts concerning the brand image. The purpose may be to make the company more competitive than it was before.
As well-intentioned as it may be, this can end up backfiring. If the brand image is a denominating factor of the business value, making any changes to it can cause the company to plummet. Check their image first and analyze whether any potential changes will affect your investment or not.
5. Not Doing A SWOT Analysis
When buying a company, it is essential to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis before you make the purchase. Failing to do so may not only make you buy a company that won’t end up having success, but it can also cause your own business image to suffer.
In the event of a merger, the weaknesses and threats of the new company will transfer to your existing one. By doing a SWOT analysis, you will know whether the new company has potential or not.
6. Not Having A Proper Plan
As an entrepreneur that decided it was time to grow their reach, you might buy a business without having a proper plan on how to handle it. Before you make a purchase, you need to know exactly what the company’s problem is, so that you can make the appropriate changes.
Elon Musk, for instance, just purchased Twitter for $44 billion, to address the problem of censorship that caused many users to be banned from their accounts (Donald Trump included). By knowing exactly what the main complaints are and creating a rough plan beforehand, you may prevent the new acquisition from failing.
7. Bringing Yourself Into More Debt
Many entrepreneurs believe that it is alright to overexert themselves financially and incur a bit of debt, thinking that they will reap success right away. That being said, there is no guarantee that the business will bring profit right away, which can bring even more hardships in the future.
It is best to wait a bit on the purchase until you know for a fact that you have the funds or that you have a buying team. This will prevent you from going into serious debt when buying a company.
The Bottom Line
Buying a company is not always easy, and someone without background knowledge can always make a mistake. However, knowing the most common mistakes can help you prevent a bad investment. Hopefully, we were able to help you out in making a profitable purchase.